Throughout the existence of IVAO's Spanish division, a constant premise has been the improvement of all our services so that the experience of users, whether staff members or not, is the best possible. In pursuit of this objective, some highlighted aspects that we have carried out during the past year are:
● Development of automated tools for the creation of Aurora/IvAc 1 sectors improving efficiency and accuracy.
● Adaptation of our systems to obtain automatic statistics for data analysis which feedback our changes.
Control Sectors Update Automation
The progress of the new control software, Aurora, is in a fast and constant evolution and therefore the divisions must keep up with it. From Spain, we have created a specific working group which oversees proposing and implementing ideas which aim to improve its fidelity to the software used in real life (SACTA) and in the monthly update of all procedures to adapt to the incoming AIRAC. Our flagship product is an automated Discord bot created to make the sectorization task much easier
It is developed in Python and can autonomously read, interpret and export more than 3,000 different procedures. It not only retrieves the current AIRAC procedures, but once the amendment for the next cycle has been published, it identifies these new procedures and adds them to the database.
All this process can be done automatically thanks to the complex algorithm we have developed. It can interpret directly from the servers of our data provider the procedure in text format, convert it to an image for preview and finally convert it to the coordinates format for the selected software. In the task of sector development, it is not all about procedures, but the fidelity with which the control sectors and airports are drawn is equally or more important. That is why another of our tools is to automatically convert the drawings we do in Insignia (insignia.enaire.es) to coordinates automatically.
Insignia is an interactive map created by ENAIRE that provides free and open data related to the Spanish air navigation. Through it, we can obtain the control sectors and their different configurations that are used in real life and take our simulation to another level of realism.
Using the tool shown in the video, we can very accurately trace the volumes of the control sectors and thus give a high precision in its implementation to IVAO. This tool works through a conversion system of canvas coordinates to real geographic coordinates. As in the procedure extractor, again the bot automatically converts it to Aurora, WebEye or IvAc 1 coordinates.
Controller Activity Data Analysis
In May 2021 the question of how the control hours and how long the ATC positions were opened was raised by the Canarias FIR. The answer was immediate. Expressions such as "I don't know", "more or less", "by guessing" or "I believe" appeared.
From the staff we understood that decisions could not be made without having solid and precise data. This is why we made a proposal to create a spreadsheet which extracts information from the IVAO tracker. Three weeks later, the first prototype was shown to the FIR staff members, which laid the foundations for obtaining clear and concrete data. It was challenging and tedious but, in the end, it left behind all those expressions that did not combine with the idea of excellence for which we aim to achieve at IVAO Spain. The major leap came once multiple staff members collaborated on achieving total automation of the sheet by bringing their knowledge together. In short, from the initial prototype in which data had to be manually entered, we now have a spreadsheet that autonomously fetches data from the tracker. In this way, we have moved to a higher level of precision, avoiding human error and moving to aseptic data and graphics for subjective evaluation.
With this new tool we are able to easily and quickly analyze the status of our controllers.
Some automated insights that we get for any timestamp are:
● Total control hours in IVAO Spain.
● Hours of control in each FIR.
● Activity of each ATC Team.
● Total number of hours a position has been active.
With the above, we are able to:
● Reward controllers through a new award system.
● Decision-making regarding FRAs.
● Promote events in FIRs with less activity.